Farm Happenings at Hoot Owl Farm
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CSA Week #14-A

Posted on August 18th, 2021 by Bonnie and Rudy Geber

Ahh Cartman...what a useful addition to the Hoot Owl team this little golf cart has been this year! He hauls flats of seedlings out to the field every week to be planted, he hauls produce in from the field to be washed, he hauls huge loads of crop debris and weeds to the compost pile, and this week we started him out on his true job...hauling heavy stuff! Actually, he's been helping us out hauling heavy stuff all season, but our real intentions when considering buying a golf cart were centered around big harvests like onions, potatoes, and winter squash that all have to be brought in at one time. We just started with a little bit of winter squash harvesting today, but it's enough to get them into some boxes this week. 

Fall might not be in the temperatures yet, but it is in the air as we prepare to harvest several of the big plantings that take us through the fall (onions, potatoes, winter squash, garlic). It's also apparent that we are facing an inflection point in the season as our seedings have drastically reduced. Throughout the growing season, we seed flats of lettuce, scallions, bok choy, beets, etc. every week or two, but at this point in the season, there isn't enough time left for those crops to grow to maturity so our weekly task has been cut way back. We will continue to direct seed crops into the field for a few more weeks, and in fact, that task has increased quite a bit because now instead of cash crops, we're mainly seeding cover crops into beds or blocks of beds as they are vacated by cash crops. We've never had a lot of time to focus on cover cropping in the past because we've needed all of our available beds right up until frost. But cover cropping is an important facet of regenerative agriculture that protects the soil over the winter, adds organic matter and sometimes other nutrients, and creates habitat for overwintering soil organisms and microbes -- so we've always known that it would need to become common practice on our farm. This year is the first year that we are really trying in earnest to have a large percentage of our farm in cover crop for the winter. We're gearing up to have two different types of covers out there - one that will winter kill (but still be a valuable soil stabilizer over the winter) and another that will survive the winter and continue growing in the spring. Wish us luck, we're giving it our best shot trying to treat these cover crops like they're cash crops so that we can see the maximum benefit in terms of soil health in the future. 

Oh, by the way, it's time to get into your Harvie profiles and switch, swap and add extras to your hearts content! In addition to our regular extras: farm fresh eggs from the Miller Farm, bouquets from Dragon's Breath Farm, bread & bagels from the Gracious Table, and honey from McLaury Apiaries...this week, we've also got a few bulk tomato flats and bulk garlic in one pound increments. 

Have a great weekend! Your Farmers, Rudy & Bonnie